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The Thanksgiving of Paul
This morning I want us to look at this coming Thanksgiving and garner from it the spirit that is this holiday. Too often we approach this coming season in a oh-hum, or completely secular way, separating it from its intent, and therefore the perspective that is so healthy to our spiritual health as individuals and as ones in relationship with one another. We’ll be handling *this in two parts and today journeying into the thanksgiving of Jesus of which we see three.
This morning, I want to follow God.. and it has to do both with our identity as people of faith in Jesus, chosen by God to be in relationship with Him and what that means, or at least part of what that means. At the same time how there are theives and robbers, constantly trying to take from us the fullness of what our identity in Christ means.
This morning I want us to venture into a topic which not only is a recognition of something that is real for all of us, but purposeful to our overall health and wellbeing in experiencing the “fullness” of the life God has for us. I want your imaginations to soar in the possibilities of what can occur "When God Whispers" and we hear Him over all others, no matter how loudly they speak or what is happening around us though seemingly so profound.
This morning we're going to do something a little different. As a young Christian, someone unfamiliar with reading the Bible, not knowing how to even get into it except to either jump around or start from the begninning and read to the right, I was given some excellent advice, particularly in allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me into what God wanted to show me. It's different than studying. It's discovering "The Word of God" for you at the time of the reading. So today we're all going to do that together and then give you what was given to me as a sense of direction to see that God is active and wanting to communicate with you all more intimately.
This morning I want to follow an impression from the Lord, and it has to do with a very familiar passage of scripture. There are so many things we do because they look good or they are convenient at the time, but in the long run they prove to be a waist of our time, energy and even our money. What is it we need to build-up our lives and those around us; to make *things better for ourselves, our families, communities, and even the church? Proverbs 24:3 (ESV) By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established. Wisdom and understanding are key to building and from which things are prepared, set-up, and applied. Where do we get this wisdom and understanding? So, this morning I want us to be ones who *move forward in confidence all because we are sure of our1b.foundations.
This morning I want to look at something that has affected me all my Christian life, partly because of who I am as a personality, and partly because of what I spoke on two weeks ago as a young man “Desiring what’s real.” I believe Jesus, in His appearing, in His teaching, and especially in His death and resurrection calls each and every person into the depth of who God is; in the knowledge of who He is, in the understanding of what He is about, and particularly into a relationship with Him that recognizes, as our topic this morning indicates, that only he *has the answer to our thirst. Yet it is from that very thirst that we find refreshing. Isaiah 55:1 (ESV) “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2.  Read: John 4:7-25 (ESV) Pray for understanding and delivery
Today's topic is abouy Real Community.
This morning I want us to look at something that affected me deeply as a young man coming to faith in Jesus, but not only me, I believe we all are looking for something real. Desiring what’s Real, is more than an observation, more than simply stating the obvious, it is a way forward. I knew I was going to speak on something around this topic this morning, but I didn’t know that I would be truly impressed by a conversation that took place in my monthly literary group this week. C.S. Lewis said in the book Mere Christianity “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” This gets right to the point. We desire something more, therefore we know there is something more. Something richer, deeper, truer. Not conditioned or conditional Whether that be in our personal lives or in the world around us – there is something we desire that is generated from outside of this natural world and even engages our imaginations.
This morning, we linked a few things together in a deposit of what I believe is so critically important to who we are, not simply as Christian people, but as human beings, who have found the reality of who they are and what they are for, all because the author of life, Jesus *has come and enlightened us to that truth. 1a.Acts 3:15 (ESV) …the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead… Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV) He is the image of the invisible God…by him all things were created…through him and for him…and in him all things hold together. All of *life is from Him, and His death on the Cross, bridged the gap that exist between God and humanity. Why? 1b.Because you matter to God.